A copyright is a legal instrument that guarantees certain rights to the creator of the work in question. Copyright infringement occurs when someone either mistakenly or purposefully uses the work that is protected in a way that violates the copyright. If you believe you have been a victim of copyright infringement it is important that you work with a College Station business attorney who understands how to handle such matters through the courts.
What Is a Copyright and What Does It Cover?
A copyright is held by the author or creator of the work unless he has transferred this right to someone else. A copyright protects the creator of an original musical composition, literary work, sound recording, painting, photograph, television broadcast or film, live performance, software, or other creative work. The owner of the copyright has exclusive rights to the following:
- Reproduction of the work
- Display of the work in public
- Performance of the work in public
- Creation of derivative works that are based upon the work in question
- Distribution of copies
As mentioned, the author or creator may transfer ownership of the copyright to another. One should take care in doing so, however. For instance, members of the musical group The Beatles sold the copyrights to much of their music, and as a result, when one of them wishes to perform a song he actually wrote himself, he must first seek permission to do so.
What Is Copyright Infringement?
Copyright infringement is punishable as a federal offense under the Copyright Act. There are numerous ways in which infringement of the copyright can occur, two of which are piracy and theft. Plagiarism is another that refers more specifically to literary works. Sometimes people commit copyright infringement without realizing it. For instance, if you download a song for free off of an Internet site, this may constitute infringement of the copyright if the creator did not grant authority to the individual offering the song to do so. This actually occurs more often than one might think, and can lead to serious legal ramifications.
We Can Help if You Have Been Victimized by Infringement of Your Copyright
If you have created a work that is covered under U.S. copyright laws you have rights if someone uses the work without permission. Call a College Station business lawyer today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.